Less competition, more cooperation

What’s the purpose of cooperative games? Connecting people. They bring people together to work toward a common goal, as opposed to a cutthroat competitive game.

The benefits:

*They give you other ways to win–there isn’t just one path

*They connect you with others

*They allow for different users with different abilities to participate

Examples: Pandemic (board game), Kickstarter, Gamestorming

The co-leader of this panel created Health Month, a cooperative game to help people try and get healthier. It hasn’t been heavily promoted yet, but check it out. You set rules to change your behavior each month, from your diet to activities you want to do. The idea is to help people stay motivated without having to spend too much time or money. (Makes sense, it’s like working out with a group of people…having others around who share a common goal helps you stick to it).

As people set rules for Health Month, they share with others what is working for them and what isn’t. They support each other during personal downfalls. Of course, it’s almost impossible to do a completely cooperative game. There is always going to be some kind of competition–but that’s healthy. Some Health Month users compete with themselves, and others join a team and compete against other teams. Teams end up coming with their own game culture/code of ethics which is pretty cool.

They left us with a quote:

“If you want to make lasting change, our friends need to change with us.” -Dr. James Fowler, New York Times

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